Headteacher’s Weekly Bulletin
Friday 25th September 2014
I have ordinarily made a start on my bulletin before 3.30 p.m. but it’s just been “one of those days”, so I’m going to have to be quick as Mrs Beeley has organised a rare soirée with friends and I’ve promised to be home a little earlier than usual. Anyway, you’ll be so engrossed in the Newsletter, which has been sent home with students today, that you probably won’t even get chance to read this update.
Mrs McDonnell once again organised a coffee morning / cake sale at break time today in the Staff Room in aid of Macmillan and, my goodness, what high standards; colleagues from every department, teaching and non-teaching, male and female, young and old all went to great lengths to out-do their peers. Typically, I was unable to get across to judge the cakes but my nominated replacement, Mr Fenwick (Mary Berry in disguise), reports that the atmosphere was tense and that he was offered bribes and threatened with blackmail and other under-hand tactics. Mrs McDonnell will announce the top 3 creations and the amount raised on Monday morning. I think I’ll stay away; it could get ugly!
On a much more serious note, Mr Shaw has asked me to mention the perennial issue of road safety. We have had several complaints from drivers about students stepping out in front of cars. This is largely due to absent-mindedness but occasionally out of necessity as students endeavour to negotiate the inappropriate and inconsiderate parking of some parents. Mr Shaw will be going into assemblies to remind students to be careful and respectful of road users but can I also ask those of you who pick up from School to be mindful of the potential hazards at this time of the day. Parking further away from School or encouraging children to walk would certainly alleviate the risk.
Mr Williams, Director of Year 10, would like to thank the parents who attended Tuesday night’s GCSE Preparation Evening – “It really does show much support there is for staff and pupils in our Year group.” The number in attendance suggest things bode well for the progress of this cohort over the next two years.
May I also add my thanks to the parents of 7.5a and 7.5b who came in for an information evening last night? Unfortunately, I was stuck at Sale Grammar with a broken down minibus with Mr Travis until 7.30 but I hear it went extremely well.
While I’ve still got your attention (hopefully) can I plug the PSA Family Fun Night again which is next Thursday 2nd October. This is a quiz and bingo night; the quiz is free with some quality prizes and you can buy books of bingo cards on the night for the chance to win huge cash prizes! Family tickets (£2) available from Mr Shaw.
Fifteen Year 9 pupils have been working with Mr Gerschler and Miss Brown to plan some project work to complete with Navigation Road Primary School. “Year 5 and 6 pupils are studying America at the moment, so it was decided that a joint project on Native American Indians completed by the 2 schools would be an interesting idea. Our Year 9 pupils have been meeting at lunch times and after school for the past few weeks to plan activities and share ideas about their work. On Tuesday afternoon, 29 pupils from Navigation Road visited Wellington to take part in these activities. All pupils had a fantastic time, as the Year 9 ‘experts’ had planned some amazing tasks! All pupils were given their Native American names after learning about religious beliefs. They then had the chance to study recreations of Native American artefacts (made by Wellington pupils), learn the famous Navajo Happy dance, create traditional Native American bracelets and necklaces, try traditional Native American foods and learn about the different tribes of the USA. There was even chance to take part in a Science experiment! It was a fantastic afternoon and our Year 9s can’t wait for their return visit to Navigation Road to finish their work in October and to exhibit all completed work in December. Considering the Year 9s planned and delivered all activities themselves, I think it’s safe to say they have the potential to make inspirational teachers one day!”
Indeed, Mr Gerschler, you’ve obviously trained them well.
The German Exchange students arrived at the end of school on Thursday. Nine Year 10 girls are looking forward to an action-packed weekend with a view to showing their visitors the very best the North West has to offer. I’m sure Miss Warburton will have more to report next Friday.
Once again we have celebrated European Day of Languages today and the list of languages being taught by our own students seems to grow each year; 50 linguists “teaching” 16 different languages in the Watson Hall with the “International Café to boot. Furthermore, there were Tutor Quizzes for all year groups and Year 7 Zumba at lunchtime with indomitable duo, Miss Weeks and Miss McShane. Our newly appointed “Language Leaders” helped to supervise the event. I’ve not caught up with Miss Weeks and her team yet but I look forward to hearing further reports next week.
“The Year 11 Netball team have finished their school netballing careers off with an excellent performance in the Trafford tournament. The girls played extremely well, and came 4th overall. It was lovely to see them putting all of their skills and experience into play for the last time, before focussing their attention on their academic studies for the rest of year 11. There was lots of celebration and a hint of sadness at the end of their last game, as the girls have all become such good friends through their 5 years of playing together. I’m sure their experiences of representing Wellington will do them well in years to come, and they’ll certainly have many fond memories!”
Thank you for the report, Miss Hodges, but I’m sure we could find a few more fixtures for these ladies to delay their sense of sorrowful separation.
Mr Baker writes, “The Year 7 Football team beat Sale Grammar 2-1 in a close battle at Wellington on Wednesday night. The boys’ determination to work for each other was extremely impressive and paid dividends as Carl Smith slotted home a late winner. ‘Man of the Match’ was Jeremy Winston who kept his head, when others were losing theirs.”
I believe the Year 9 team weren’t quite as fortunate and lost their fixture 8-2 against a strong Sale Grammar side.
This was always going to be a tough week and a real step up from the fixtures against Stretford Grammar as all four teams were set to face Sale Grammar School. Only Year 8 proved victorious on this occasion but there were commendable performances from the other age groups.
Mr Tomlinson provides this report for the Year 10/11 game;
“The second game of the season saw us take on the mighty Sale Grammar. Sale are historically a very strong rugby team and it would take a monumental effort to overcome them. We were ravaged by injuries to many regular starters including our leader Rory MacKenzie. Indeed, for many of the team it was their first ever game of rugby for the School. Special thanks to Joel James and Matt Gallagher for offering to step in and thank you to Luke Child, Jack Wright, Dan Walker, Conor McLoughlin and Matt Yates for stepping in at the last minute. Although we were defeated 44-12, I enjoyed this just as much, if not more, than previous games. The determination the team showed was outstanding; yes we were inexperienced but more than made up for that with fight, particularly considering we lost Callum Burns to injury early on. Liam Raftery lead the way with a big tackle early on and we talked a lot in the breaks about respecting possession and getting to the breakdown quickly, which the lads did really well, and for 10-15 mins we had Sale under pressure as we got within 4 points thanks to Dan Walker and Jack Wright. Sale's experience told in the end and they ran away with the game in the second half. Thank you to their PE teacher who was very supportive and complimentary of our team. Dan Walker was man of the match with an outstanding display on the wing.”
Sounds like true Wellington grit! Thank you for the detailed match report once again Mr Tomlinson.
The Year 9 team suffered a heavy loss (55-5) to a physically dominant Sale side but showed real resilience and a determination not to throw in the towel according to Mr Morgan. As in the previous game, there were glimpses of real talent and excellent team play which will be better co-ordinated through further training. Don’t worry, gents, your second victory of the season won’t be far away (as a Utd fan those words have real resonance!)
The Year 8s, as alluded to earlier, did themselves proud winning 46-10, and Mr Holt tells me it could have been more. Mr Holt would confess to not being a rugby expert but was mightily impressed with the boys’ maturity and capacity to organise themselves under his “arm’s length” supervision. This side has real talent and remains the only rugby team to maintain a 100% record. Keep it going, boys. Marcus Jones showed real leadership in the forwards which provided a platform for the silken skills of our backs.
The Year 7s went down 30-5 after four gruelling 15 minute quarters designed to give Sale’s cast of thousands a good run-out. Inevitably, we were flagging towards the end but I was delighted with the boys’ endeavours. Most of those on show were playing just their first or second game of rugby against what was clearly a more experienced and structured outfit. The promise of glory as we pulled back to 10-10 at half-time soon dissipated with some careless handling, poor tackling and less than dynamic rucking, as fatigue set in. This group will show significant and rapid improvement providing they train assiduously in the coming weeks. Well done to all. Abi Coleman was “Player of the Match.”
The REP & History department will be representing Wellington at the “Killer Oxygym Workout” on Sunday morning in aid of a water project organised by Oxfam. “Mr Harrison, Miss Davison and I are all nervous about what the 45 minute killer workout has to hold for us. We don't know whether to be terrified or reassured by the promise that you are allowed to stop and catch your breath for a minute and that there will be plenty of people circulating around to 'motivate' you at all times! All in a good cause though and it is an excuse to eat an extra cake a the Macmillan baking morning today.”
Thanks for that Mrs Stephens and do let us know how you go on, if you can, on Monday. Staff, I’m sure will be generous in support of your efforts.
Mrs Stephens has also asked me to mention that are delighted with the fantastic start that all 36 Year 12 students have made to their studies in both Ethics and Buddhism A level modules. “I have very much enjoyed watching the Year 12 groups recreating the scenes of the Life of the Buddha around the School site this week and producing very imaginative presentations with these images. Apologies for any confused staff and pupils that have witnessed scenes of visions of white elephants and Bodhi tree enlightenments during the course of the week. The students have been enthusiastic and positive about their studies and Mrs Jones and I are delighted to have so many of them enjoying our subject.
Also, on the topic of A level students, the Year 13s have made a superb start to their philosophy module and have between them produced in excess of 30 practice essays already since we returned in September. Two of the Year 13 students are applying to study Philosophy at university in preparation for a law conversion degree and Mrs Jones will obviously be preparing them for their interviews at the respective universities.”
These words from Mrs Stephens epitomise the passion and commitment of her department and others towards the progress and future career choices of our 6th Formers. Mightily impressive!
Finally in R.E.P., Mr Harrison tells me Year 9 have been taking part in debates all this week, looking at the ‘big’ questions in the world. “Their contributions, insightful comments and remarks have certainly impressed all the members of the department and the students thoroughly enjoyed getting their voices and opinions heard. It goes to show that we should never underestimate or place a ceiling on the ability of our students as some of their arguments and points wouldn’t have been out of place in a University lecture hall and they certainly gave us all food for thought. Well done to all the students that were involved!”
A polite reminder / plea from the wonderful ladies in the School Office which I would endorse fully;
“To all our lovely supportive parents, please can you remind your children to pack their bags for the appropriate day/week. The office staff cannot guarantee that messages regarding forgotten items can always be passed to students. It is the students’ responsibility to collect all forgotten items from the office. Thank you.”
I cannot begin to tell you how busy it gets in the School Office and the myriad tasks that admin staff are expected to perform on our behalf. They always do it with a smile but they are currently being inundated with items forgotten by students which is preventing them from effectively carrying out other duties. Furthermore, surely we must train our youngsters to be independent and at times that means facing the consequences of their absent-mindedness. As a partnership, we will get them to be self-managing; in some cases it might take a little longer!
Finally, before you sit down to read the Newsletter, our 6th Form Open Evening takes place on 8th October and Year 11 students have today had a letter of invitation. If this applies to you, please come along and learn more about our philosophy and what our 6th Form has to offer.
Have a great weekend (the sun’s out at the moment so “make hay!”)
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
...and thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to assume the Headship of our Outstanding School, and I look forward to the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards set by my predecessor, Mrs Armstrong, and moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Outstanding Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – both local and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher
I am pleased to publish the results and my thoughts on the latest Kirkland Rowell Parent Survey - please see the new tab at the top of the page ' Parent Survey 2013'.